Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Colombo or Jaffna?

So there I am buying a suit at a large department store when the chap fitting me for it in the chatty way that salesmen have, asks me where I'm from. Now I get asked that all the time (I obviously stand out as an immigrant, or perhaps its because I keep saying 'men' and 'no' after everything in an annoying Colombo accent) and I mumbled out "Sri Lanka" while doing my best to holding my gut in and stand up straight.

"Sri Lanka?" He says straightening up; "Oh so are you from Colombo or from Jaffna?" Now this floored me. Most suddha buggers don't even know where Sri Lanka is let alone its capital and the northern most city. I started paying more attention to him and mumbled out "Colombo" while looking over at the guy to follow his train of thought. "Oh, so you're one of the ones that oppose the freedom struggle and are against the Tamils." The guy says nonchalantly while flipping the measuring tape over his shoulders. Then almost apologetically he continues, "Its cool, I mean its good you guys aren't just rolling over and giving in."

I stare blankly at him for a bit while trying to make sense of the whole thing. I was uncomfortable as it is with another guy holding measuring tape up to my nether regions, but this was a whole new ball game. At least I was prepared for the tape, no one told me I'd have to field allegations while on the tailor's block as well!

I stepped off the block and proceeded to brief him on the whole civil conflict in Sri Lanka but I could tell he wasn't really listening. I even told him that even though I was from Colombo I supported a democratic process and the move for freedoms and equality of all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. I even went so far as to explain how the military victory was but a temporary solution to the conflict and that we needed to push forward with a democratic solution that all sides accepted; but He wasn't really interested in the details. I could tell he was just agreeing to what I said as I was his customer; I got the feeling he was embarrassed he had brought it up and was just nodding and smiling to defuse things a bit.

I walked away from it all feeling a bit nonplussed about the whole experience, and was left wondering exactly WHAT the take on the Sri Lanka civil war is amongst the general Canadian public...


  1. Oh! you should have say something like.. form "Ebilipitiya man.. That is where all the good weed grows.. "

  2. This is hilarious...I would have been speechless!